Money crisis topic of special board meeting by David Lias The Vermillion School Board has scheduled a special meeting June 18 to discuss the growing financial problems being faced by the school district.
The meeting will be held in the Vermillion High School library, beginning at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.
Among the topics to be discussed is the board's anticipated plans to seek a property tax opt-out election this fall.
"We need to get out our message about what we are facing," said Tom Craig, board president, said at Monday's school board meeting. "The June 18 meeting will allow us to do that.
"We will take up the opt-out again at our June 23 regular meeting, which is also in the high school library. That will be the major order as we decide on an election. We expect to set the amount of the opt-out and the election date."
At Monday's meeting, board members discussed an opt-out of $650,000 for the 2004-05 school year.
The board has already cut $600,000 to $700,000 during the past two years, and staff cuts appear to be a certainty if more budget slashing becomes necessary, Superintendent Bob Mayer said.
"If we have to cut $650,000, you are talking about cutting 20 jobs. That's 20 percent of our current teachers and administrators. That's a significant number and would be extremely difficult."
The district will put together a list of personnel who would be cut without an opt-out, Mayer said.
"We would have to share the list with the staff right away in the fall," he said. "It would be a tough way to start the school year, but they need to see it first rather than read it in the newspaper. And we would tell the public this is what we have to do."